|In Canada, police have announced the arrest of a former convenience store owner on charges of theft and fraud relating to ‘inside wins’ on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s provincial lottery.|
The scandal began earlier this year following an extraordinarily high level of wins by Hafiz Malik, who allegedly cheated winners out of their prizes by claiming the prize money for himself. The deceived winners, four employees of a school, have now received a cheque for $5.7 million plus interest from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Police allege that 60-year-old Malik, who has been released on $60,000 bail, validated the group's Lotto 6/49 ticket at his now-closed convenience store in Toronto but didn't tell the customers they had won. He has been charged with two counts of fraud of more than $5,000 and one count of theft of more than $5,000.
A lawyer for the winners stated that his clients played the same numbers regularly and realised that they might have been duped after checking the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s website for the winning numbers nine months ago.
'I'm delighted with the signal this is sending to retailers of lottery tickets in the province of Ontario, which is that if you try to cheat people out of their winnings, if you try to rip off the system, we're going to be all over you,' said Dalton McGuinty, Premier for Ontario.